Spring 2018 Featured MN4MN Designer Allison Quinnell

Meet Designer Allison Quinnell an Interview by Ethelind Belle

It’s 10:30 am on a Saturday. I walk into Penny’s downtown Minneapolis for the first time to meet someone I’ve never met. Upon walking in, I spot a line of people, I smell coffee beans, I hear names being called, I hear the sound of blenders and conversations, and yet I spot Allison immediately. I walk over, and without even planning to, we share a hug like old friends. And just like that with two Americanos (for her) and Mimosas (for me), almost two hours feel like only 15 minutes. We chat vulnerability, discipline, wearable art, and style in the Twin Cities.

Allison is brilliantly creative!! A Target alum who has spent time in several cities around the world, Allison will debut her first solo show during MN Spring Fashion Week. She welcomes the challenge of forging a new aesthetic territory with discipline, authenticity, professionalism, and a whole lot of creativity.

A few highlights:

  1. How do you approach your designing process?
    I don’t have a formula. I can be inspired, and it can be this lightning bolt moment, where I have to get something on paper ASAP. Or it can be a slower burn and building upon ideas, and it takes time. What I do know is that I think about and absorb things around me 24 hours a day. I even dream of design.
  2. What are the essential clothing pieces in your closet?
    Probably black jeans. So versatile and essential
  3. What would you consider the defining moment to start Slate Collective?
    I was on my version of an “eat, pray, love” trip, and I was at Centre Pompidou in Paris, and I sat in front of a painting by Joan Mitchell. I couldn’t leave for 45 min; I just sat there. After a while, I thought “sure, that would be great on my wall at home, but what I really want is it draped over my body.” That was the moment I realized how much of a clothing designer I was, and how much art has the power to save, inspire, and push me.
  4. What can we expect from Slate Collective?
    You can expect consistency, authenticity, and pieces that are truly made with 100% passion and love for the craft.
  5. What is your style?
    My style is pretty minimal–clean, modern. My clothes are pieces that I truly love. I don’t wear things to a part of fashion trends; I wear things that make me feel happy and confident.
  6. Where do you get inspired and how do you cope with your moments of self-doubt?
    I get inspired by traveling. Walking down random streets, in places I have never been is one of my favorite things to do. I also deal with self-doubt a lot. As I have gotten older, I have come to accept that these moments happen, and then they pass. I also have a fantastic group of core people that I trust, who I can run things past, and who support me in these tougher moments.
  7. What do you do to give yourself energy in your spare time?
    Baths, lots of baths. And I really need sleep to recharge.
  8. How many countries have you traveled to, which do you consider your favorite and why?
    I don’t have an exact count, but I would say it’s 20+. I have many favorite cities, for a lot of reasons, but my current top favorites are: Paris, Amsterdam, and Tokyo. I really really want to get to Morocco sooner than later!
  9. When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
    Someone who is still growing, still developing, someone who has a lot of hope, but is still very guarded. Someone who is unrelenting in going after what she wants.
  10. What do you think of the fashion scene in the Twin Cities and what would you like to see?
    I think the fashion scene in Mpls has a lot of potential, there are a lot of talented people here. I would like to see a Fashion Week in Mpls be a major event, and a large audience is attending exciting shows.

Details slatecollective.com
Slate Collective FWMN18 Invitation

Photographs of SlateCollective in Minneapolis. All images by Eliesa Johnson.

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